Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Paris march for Gaza to go ahead Saturday despite police ban

    Read more

  • Kerry due in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Sebastien Loeb set for another win

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-04-05

Five-time world champion Sebastien Loeb is back on top at the Rally of Portugal. On day 1, the French temporarily lost the pole position to Finnish Mikko Hirvonen. The new leader will have the task of 'sweeping the road' on the final day.

AFP - Five-time world champion Sebastien Loeb is poised to wrap up a comfortable Rally of Portugal victory on Sunday after carving out a 26.8-sec lead thanks to a cleansweep of Saturday's six stages.

The French Citroen driver started the day in third place, but faces the task of 'sweeping' the roads over Sunday's five stages with the surfaces made worse by loose and dusty conditions.

"It’s been a very good day for me," said Loeb. "I did all I could to increase my lead. The road cleaning effect was inconsistent, with some stages cleaning more than others, but the most important things is we have a good lead for tomorrow.

"Maybe it’s not going to be enough to balance being first on the road, because the stages are a bit more twisty and dusty, we’ll just have to wait and see. But overall I couldn’t have hoped for better."

Overnight leader Mikko Hirvonen battled to stay in touch in his Ford Focus, but faded late in the day.

"Tomorrow is a long day and I will have a cleaner road position than Sebastien. As long as I don’t have any problems with dust in the air, or anything like that there’s still a chance of catching him. I’ll try," he said.

Marcus Gronholm, the 2000 and 2002 world champion, saw his return to the championship after an 18-month absence curtailed in a nasty crash on the day's first stage.

"I went a little bit wide in a left-hander and hit a tree with the back of the car. We went off the road, rolled over once, and landed back on our wheels," said Gronholm who had had been fourth overnight in his private Subaru entry.

Gronholm wouldn’t be drawn on whether or not he would return for further races outings this season. "It’s been okay here, it was quite nice up to this morning, but as for more rallies, well, you never know. We will see," he said.

Date created : 2009-04-04

COMMENT(S)